Steve Linde was a full-fledged Little Ferry police officer all of a week when he was deployed to Africa with the U.S. Army National Guard early this year. He returned Friday to a hero's welcome.
The 25-year-old borough native was hired as a police officer in November of last year, passed his field training and hit the street -- but not for long.
Linde, who was graduated from Montclair State University in 2016, enlisted with the National Guard a year earlier for a six-year hitch that ends in February 2021.
He was deployed on Feb. 4 to the country of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and conducted security missions around the east continent.
Members of VFW Post 809 and American Legion Post 310 joined police and firefighters in welcoming back the surprised, beaming Linde -- now a sergeant with the guard -- on Friday.
"He has a nice future ahead of him. He has great character and is a huge asset to the force," said Police Capt. James Walters, the department's officer in charge. "I'm certainly glad he's on my team.
"This is our first full-time police officer to to get deployed," Walters added. "We are very happy he's home safe."
Linde returns to work on Dec. 18.
ALL PHOTOS: Courtesy LITTLE FERRY PD
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